Background: Macrophages play central roles in homeostasis as well as host defence in innate and acquired immunity, auto-immunity and immunopathology. Our research group has demonstrated the effects of highly diluted toxic substances in macrophages.
Aim: To investigate if highly diluted Mercurius solubilis (Merc sol), can activate or modulate macrophage functions.
Methods: We evaluated the effects of Merc sol in the 6, 12, 30 and 200 centesimal high dilutions (CH) potencies on mice peritoneal macrophages (in vitro and in vivo). Merc sol was added to mice's drinking water for 7 days (in vivo treatment) and animals were euthanised and cells were collected. In vitro treatment was performed on macrophages and bone-marrow cell cultures.
Results: Macrophages showed activated morphology, both when Merc sol was added directly to the cell culture and to drinking water. The in vitro experiments showed enhanced morphological activation, increased interferon (IFN)γ release in the supernatant at lower dilutions and interleukin (IL)-4 production at higher dilutions. Increase in nitric oxide and decrease in superoxide (O(2)(-)) and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) were also observed. In vivo treatment caused a decrease in O(2)(-) and increase in H(2)O(2) production by macrophages.
Discussion: Taken together, the results allow us to conclude that highly diluted Merc sol modulates reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and cytokine secretion, which are central mediators of the immune system, wound healing and body homeostasis.
Copyright © 2011 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.